hijab

Melona Clarke said she had to prove she was a Muslim so she could be a student at Hampton University.

“I went to go get my ID in the police office, and I was in the front of the line and I was told that I would not be able to get my ID because I wear a hijab,” said Clarke.

In order to wear the hijab, or the head scarf many Muslim women choose to wear, Clarke was told she not only had to get a letter from the school chaplain but her mosque.

NewsChannel 3 took a look at the school’s dress code and it shows, “caps and hoods for women” are not allowed, but that “does not apply to headgear considered as a part of religious or cultural dress.”

But there is a separate policy in order to wear the religious headgear stating students, “May make a written request for a review through the Office of the Chaplain,” and “students who are approved will then have their new ID card picture taken.”

“I feel like that is absurd,” said Francine Marquis, a Hampton University student.

Joshua Senegal echoed the concerns.

“I understand why they do it, but I don’t think it is necessary to do,” said Senegal.

Melona ended up getting the proper letters to abide by the school’s policy, but she hopes they will think about changing it.

In the meantime, she does not want to be questioned for wearing her scarf and carries her letters of permission around with her daily on campus.

“If I am ever stopped and asked who I am, what I am doing on campus, I want to have all the proof that I can that I am a student here because I don’t want to have to go through anything like I went through in the first place, and I don’t want other people to have to go through that either,” said Clarke.

 

source

  • Me

    I wonder if they ask Jewish students to prove themselves too.

  • Kaeli

    At Hampton? This isn’t about race as Hampton is an HBCU. This is about theism. Christian is right, anything else is not.

  • Me

    Judaism is a religion, not a race (also, white students attend HBCUs too). My comment still stands.

  • Cassandra

    That’s if you’re making the assumption that all Jewish students would be white (I am a Black woman who is Jewish). But I agree that this is about an assertion of Christianity being right and everyone else being under suspicion.

  • Kaeli

    Please stop. I understand that all jewish people are not white but the majority are. Let’s just be real, do you really thing there is a large contingent of Jewish students at Hampton of any race? No. If you want to pretend that is the case to prove your argument continue to do so.

  • Me

    I’m guessing you missed my point:

    Muslims: marginalized religious group
    Jewish: marginalized (underrepresented) religious group (at this particular school)

    Question: are they discriminating against Muslims or would Jews (who wear yarmulkes) be asked to verify their religion too.

    Had/Has nothing to do with race.

  • Kaeli

    No, I think I see your point just fine. Your point would only apply to Jewish men who wear Yarmulkes who I am saying probably don’t have a large contingent at this school. In addition unlike a hijab you can take an ID picture and your head,face, and hair would be showing. So it is not at all the same thing. Maybe if you have referenced Sikh men whose religious expression is closer to that of Muslim women your point would have made more sense.

  • Me

    Does it matter which other religion I chose? My point is whether the policy is practiced the same across all other underrepresented religions at that school. You really think Sikhs have a bigger population than Jews at Hamption or you just stuck on race?

  • aziza123

    Such a beautiful woman this is! Don’t give these bigots the time of day!

  • Kaeli

    I think because we are talking about Hampton the “other groups” argument doesn’t hold up as strongly even when talking about religion. If we were talking about UVA or UCLA I would be right there with you. But whatever, agree to disagree.

  • Lala

    Is she the first Muslim student at Hampton? No….Is she the first to wear her headdress? No…..Is she the first to makes stink about school policy? Nope……If you don’t like the school policy, go to a different school where you will not be subjected to what you deem is absurd. Schools have policy in place for a reason. If no headdress is to be worn, except for religious reasons, prove it, and move on. Your freedom of religion is not being impeded, and no one is being hurt in the process.

  • Cocochanel31

    sOO GLAD I did not go to Hampton like I originally wanted. They seem very restrictive and ignorant there. I remember there was a ban on girls twerking at parties or something..now this sista can’t wear her hijab without “proof” ? Wow..I would’ve thought the perk of going to an HBCU was for the acceptance of diversity…however, Hampton seems to be doing a piss poor job.

  • http://gravatar.com/beejcee beejcee

    “caps and hoods for women” are not allowed, In Winter and early Fall I need to wear head accessories. Now this statement says women are not allowed to wear caps and hoods, are we allowed to wear scarves for winter weather? Are men allowed to wear caps and hoods? From the statement in the article I would say yes, This is my problem with this situation!

  • Sewwhat

    She has to walk around with “her papers” like a slave with a “permission slip” from master to go down the road? SMH

  • march pisces

    my first thought… sounds like buying your freedom coming up north and having to keep your papers on you at all times as not to be sent back —->>>>In the meantime, she does not want to be questioned for wearing her scarf and carries her letters of permission around with her daily on campus.

    “If I am ever stopped and asked who I am, what I am doing on campus, I want to have all the proof that I can that I am a student here because I don’t want to have to go through anything like I went through in the first place, and I don’t want other people to have to go through that either,” said Clarke.

    someone mentioned going to another school. yup! i’d take my money and go to another school. hbcu’s should be picky about their students. they should only want the best, but when you are struggling to maintain enrollment one would think head wear would be a back burner issue.

    imo….

  • Pseudonym

    I agree. A good friend of mine went there and it seemed like they were more concerned about fashion statements than academic excellence.

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